CHICAGO: With the recession causing clients to rethink every dollar
they spend, the concept of offering communications audits is catching on
among PR firms.
The MWW Group has begun offering a public affairs and communications
audit service, and has signed two clients: Validata, a market research
firm, and the American Society of Hand Therapists. The new MWW service
is being directed from its Chicago office, but is available
The audits offer to rate the effectiveness of various public affairs and
Larry Zoeller, an SVP and GM for MWW in Chicago, and John Digles, an
assistant VP, are heading up the new audit service.
Also in Chicago, new firm Benchmark Collaborative is offering
communications auditing based on a web platform. The firm and the new
service are the brainchild of Brian Connolly, a former star of the
Chicago tech PR scene who previously worked for Ogilvy PR and Ruder
Connolly has grouped seven senior PR people who will serve as his
auditors, benchmarking company communications efforts against industry
standards, and providing results on a website clients can access.
"The downturn has focused intense scrutiny with regard to communications
spending," Connolly said. "Unless you have proof points, you're not in